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Aviation Safety: FAAN shuts Lagos Airport facility as XEjet airplane skids off runway

*The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria shuts the Lagos Airport 18/L runway, after an aircraft belonging to XEjet Airlines skidded off the aviation facility and landed on the grass Saturday, May 11

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), again, has shut the Lagos Airport 18/L runway, after an aircraft belonging to XEjet Airlines skidded off the aviation facility and landed in the grass morning Saturday, May 11, 2024, at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), in Ikeja, Lagos.

ConsumerConnect reports the affected Airbus plane Embraer 145 with registration 5N-BZZ had 52 passengers on board from Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, FCT, and landed in the grassland in the domestic wing of the MMIA.

However, all passengers aboard the aircraft were safely evacuated through a controlled disembarkation at the Lagos Airport.

Affirming the incident, XEjet stated: “XE Jet Limited has confirmed that one of their aircraft, an Embraer 145 with registration 5N-BZZ operating on behalf of NG Eagle Airlines suffered a runway excursion whilst landing at Murtala Muhammed Airport’s 18L runway this afternoon at approximately 12.29hrs.

“No casualties were reported. We are currently liaising with NCAA, AIB and NISB, and associated agencies and will issue a formal update in due course.”

Following the incident, the temporary closure of the runway by FAAN is limiting the airport to a single runway, a situation that is expected to cause aircraft delays and landing at the airport.

Commenting on the development Saturday, Bimbo Olajide, Spokesperson of the Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB), reportedly confirmed that an aircraft belonging to Xejet Airlines skidded off the runway of the domestic wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport.

Olajide noted a team from the aviation regulatory agency had been deployed to the site of the incident.

The NSIB stated: “Our teams are there and on top of the matter. But whether or not the runway will be reopened today, I cannot immediately answer questions on that.”

NSIB investigation opens

After the aviation incident in Lagos, the Nigerian Safety Investigation Board also disclosed the body had deployed a team to the site.

The NSIB said: “An aircraft belonging to XeJet Airline skidded off the runway at the domestic wing of Murtala Mohammed Airport this morning. A go team has been deployed to the site of the incident.”

It is recalled that a Dana MD-82 aircraft, April 2024, was involved in a skidding off of the runway, after which Mr. Festus Keyamo, SAN, Honourable Minister for Aviation and Aerospace Development, ordered the suspension of the carrier for a comprehensive auditing.

The Minister, in an interview, later disclosed that Dana Airlines had not been fit to operate in the Nigerian air space.

Likewise, Emmanuel Meribole, Permanent Secretary to the Ministry, in a letter to the Director-General of NCAA, said Minister Keyamo had directed the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority to suspend the airline due to the incident.

He also directed an audit of Dana Air, encompassing all aspects of safety protocols, maintenance procedures, and financial health to ensure full compliance with the aviation sector’s regulations.

The letter stated in part: “In light of these incidents, arid with the paramount priority being the safety and well-being of our citizens and travellers, the Honourable Minister has directed that you immediately initiate the suspension of Dana Airline’s fleet until a comprehensive audit can be conducted.

“This audit should encompass all aspects of safety protocols, maintenance procedures, and financial health to ensure full compliance with our aviation regulations.”

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